|Publication number||US7124126 B1|
|Application number||US 09/614,721|
|Publication date||Oct 17, 2006|
|Filing date||Jul 12, 2000|
|Priority date||Jul 13, 1999|
|Publication number||09614721, 614721, US 7124126 B1, US 7124126B1, US-B1-7124126, US7124126 B1, US7124126B1|
|Inventors||Katsushi Matsuda, Hajime Sugawa|
|Original Assignee||Nec Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (20), Non-Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (1), Classifications (18), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention claims priority from Japanese Patent Application No. 11-198820 filed Jul. 13, 1999, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to an information retrieval apparatus capable of retrieving a document being in accord with a user's intention of retrieval and a recording medium having an information retrieval program recorded in it.
2. Description of Related Art
In recent years, necessary information is often retrieved and utilized by using an information retrieval service on the World Wide Web (WWW). However, since an information retrieval service being generally performed on WWW requires an information retrieval request represented by a combination of keywords, a beginner being unfamiliar with a computer cannot properly represent a combination of keywords for exactly representing the desired information, and therefore has difficulty in exactly retrieving the desired information. As a conventional technique for performing an exact information retrieval by extracting a retriever's intention in consideration of such a problem, there is an information retrieval apparatus disclosed in Japanese Patent Laid-Open Publication No. Hei 7-105,233 (hereinafter referred to as literature 1). The information retrieval apparatus disclosed in literature 1 extracts a retriever's intention by means of interaction between the retriever and the apparatus using a natural language in order to perform an exact retrieval. The said information retrieval apparatus infers an inexplicit idiomatic expression or an abbreviated word being liable to be used in a natural language from the context of this interaction, and produces a retrieval request meeting the retriever's intention.
By the way, WWW has WWW pages each containing a collection of link destinations of a certain kind of information. A user can obtain a great amount of related information at a time by browsing these WWW pages, but since such pages are often made by gathering and arranging various formation by hand, it is difficult to cover all the related information. Therefore, in case of desiring further information, a user needs to move to a page for retrieval and perform retrieval in consideration of its retrieval conditions. It is conceivable also to make a page for retrieval using the information retrieval apparatus disclosed in literature 1, but in such a case even if an inexplicit idiomatic expression or an abbreviated word is allowable, eventually a retriever results in being forced to input a natural language and in bearing a burden equivalent to or heavier than inputting keywords. And it is necessary to analyze in advance a document straightforwardly representing the content of a document to be retrieved and additionally it is necessary to prepare a concept dictionary at the information retrieval apparatus side, and therefore construction of such an apparatus requires such a great cost that it is not practical.
In consideration of the above-mentioned problems of the prior art, an object of the present invention is to provide an information retrieval apparatus capable of performing a retrieval of exact related information by a necessary minimum input in case of desiring further related information during browsing some retrieval objects such as WWW pages.
According to the present invention, an information retrieval apparatus is provided with a data monitoring and content judging means for monitoring a sentence retrieved from a database and inferring a field which the said sentence belongs to, and retrieval screen generating means for generating a retrieval screen for allowing a user to perform a retrieval operation taking the inferred field as an object of retrieval and outputting the retrieval screen as data to be displayed together with said retrieved sentence.
Specific embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of examples only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
Operation of this embodiment is described in detail. A user requests a document to be an object of retrieval from the database 200, using the input/output device 100. The database 200 communicates a document to be an object of retrieval requested by the user to the input/output device 100 through a network communication and the like. The data monitoring portion 310 of the information retrieval apparatus 300 monitors communication of the document to be an object of retrieval from this database 200 to the input/output device, obtains this document, and notifies the content judging portion 320 of this fact. The content judging portion 320 analyzes the content of this document and judges whether or not there is the possibility that the user requests retrieval. In case that the content judging portion 320 has judged that there is the possibility that the user requests a retrieval, the retrieval screen generating portion 330 sends data for retrieval to the input/output device 100. A retrieval screen generated by the retrieval screen-generating device 100. A retrieval screen generated by the retrieval screen-generating portion 330 has a function for performing retrieval on the database 200.
In this embodiment, since a retrieval screen capable of retrieving a document related to a document to be an object of retrieval spontaneously requested by a user is generated and provided to the user, the user does not need to search another document to be an object of retrieval or input detailed retrieval conditions for the retrieval. Thanks to this, it is possible to reduce a burden of retrieval on the user to a necessary minimum.
This embodiment is described using a concrete example. In this example it is assumed that such WWW documents as HyperText Markup Language (HTML) documents, eXtensible Markup Language (XML) documents and the like are kept in a database 200, and a user browses the said WWW documents through a browser on an input/output device.
Various HTML documents on the Internet are stored in the database 200. The form of storage in the database may be either a database form or a file form of a file system. Similarly to a conventional WWW technique, the database 200 does not need to be a single database but may be a plurality of databases respectively existing at different sites. And it may contain not only HTML documents but also structured documents such as XML documents, and other text documents. The database 200 holds these WWW documents. Through a browser operating on the input/output device 100, a user can browse these WWW documents, and browse different documents one after another by referring to links contained in these documents.
The browser on the input/output device 100 communicates with the database 200 through a network, and sends and receives a WWW document. A WWW document to be sent may be a reference of WWW documents of the database 200 or a retrieval request to the server of the database 200. A WWW document to be received is a WWW document itself of the database 200. However, it may be a WWW document originally existing in the database 200 or a WWW document dynamically produced by the server of the database 200.
Text data (
And data directed to a browser (actually a computer equipped with a browser) may be monitored by incorporating an information retrieval apparatus 300 into the software for monitoring text data of a WWW document.
When the data monitoring portion 310 knows that text data of a WWW document directed to a browser have been sent, the data monitoring portion 310 monitors and sends these data to the content judging portion 320. The content judging portion 320 infers from these data a field, which this WWW document belongs to. For example it infers that the WWW document of
In case of judging that a WWW document belongs to either of the objective fields, the content judging portion 320 notifies the retrieval screen-generating portion 330 of that field. For example, in case of text data of the WWW document of
The retrieval screen-generating portion 330 generates a screen for retrieval using a template prepared in advance (
In case that an original document is insufficient in information, a user who has received such a retrieval screen can retrieve information similar to this document by only inputting its objective keywords in the retrieval screen.
A second embodiment of the present invention is described with reference to
In this embodiment, a data monitoring portion 310 of the information retrieval apparatus 300 monitors communication of a WWW document from the database 200 to a browser. The data-monitoring portion 310 takes the WWW document and notifies a retrieval screen-generating portion 330 of it. The retrieval screen-generating portion 330 takes the objective field information contained in this document and sends data for retrieval to the browser. A retrieval screen generated by the retrieval screen-generating portion 330 contains a means for performing an information retrieval on the database 200.
Since this embodiment generates and provides to a user a retrieval screen related to an applicable on the basis of objective field information determined by a producer itself of documents stored in the data base 200, it is not necessary for the user to search a retrievable see document related to the applicable document or to input retrieval conditions in detail. This makes it possible to perform an exact retrieval while reducing a user's burden to a necessary minimum.
Next, operation of the second embodiment is described using a concrete example. Here, only points different from the first embodiment are described.
In this embodiment also, it is assumed that a WWW document as shown in
The data-monitoring portion 310 monitors text data to be sent from the database 200 to the browser 150. In case that there is a WWW document directed to the browser and a comment to indicate its objective field exists at the forefront of the text data, the data monitoring portion 310 does not send this data to the browser but sends it to the retrieval screen generating portion 330. A comment to indicate an objective field is a comment explicitly indicating that an objective field is “present information” by “type=present” like the forefront comment line (<!--type=present-->) of
The data monitoring portion 310 sends an objective field extracted to the retrieval screen-generating portion 330. Like the first embodiment, the retrieval screen-generating portion 330 generates a retrieval screen using a template prepared in advance.
An information retrieval apparatus of the present invention can be realized by means of a computer by producing a computer program implementing the respective functions of the data monitoring portion 310, the content judging portion 320 and the retrieval screen generating portion 330 contained in the information retrieval apparatus 300, storing this computer program in a recording medium represented by a CD-ROM, a floppy disk or a semiconductor memory, and generating said respective functions on the computer by reading out this program from the recording medium having this program stored in it at the computer side. And this computer program may be an embodiment stored in storage inside a server, and may be an embodiment providing the program stored in this server through a network.
As described above, according to the present invention, it is possible to retrieve the same information as information currently browsed by a user, for example, information contained in a WWW document by inputting only keywords. The reason is that the present invention provides a retrieval function which automatically judges an objective field of a WWW document being currently browsed, automatically gives a retrieval screen limiting the objective field, and requires a user to input only keywords.
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|1||"Type Classification and Retrieval Using an Internet Multilateral Retrieval System OTROS-Structural Features", Information Processing Society of Japan, 57th National Conventional Proceedings (3), pp. 145-146, 1998).|
|2||325115 Japanese Office Action with English translation of pertinent potions, dated Oct. 1, 2002.|
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|U.S. Classification||707/766, 707/E17.097, 707/E17.117, 707/999.003, 707/999.004, 707/999.104|
|International Classification||G06F13/00, G06F17/30, G06F17/00, G06F7/00, G06F12/00|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10S707/99945, Y10S707/99933, Y10S707/99934, G06F17/30893, G06F17/30728|
|European Classification||G06F17/30T6C, G06F17/30W7L|
|Nov 9, 2000||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: NEC CORPORATION, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MATSUDA, KATSUSHI;SUGAWA, HAJIME;REEL/FRAME:011274/0508
Effective date: 20000710
|May 24, 2010||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Oct 17, 2010||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Dec 7, 2010||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20101017